Weekend Links: Site-specific

The new job makes for less time to invest in my usual blogging activities, so this weekend’s links round up a few highlights from recent days as well as a few older yet resonant reads on the knowing (and not-knowing) of particular places.

The desolate melancholy of the U.S.S. Enterprise sickbay (Source: spacetrek.tumblr.com)

Space: The Empty Frontier: Touching off from Marc Auge’s concept of transitory spaces as markers of time’s passage, Joanne McNeil at Rhizome shares a hauntingly fascinating selection of images sourced from Space Trek, a Tumblr dedicated to capturing “the quiet despair of the Starship Enterprise.” I’ve always been drawn to the mix of sterility and style that went into the set design of Star Trek, but these details of the Enterprise largely devoid of its crew take that visual interest into amazingly creepy territory.

Reading Istanbul: Art21 has introduced a new series to their already impressive roster of recurring columns that will no doubt exacerbate my impulsive book-buying tendencies. Every month, Inspired Reading will feature an artist or cultural producer sharing the reading list that informed a particular project. Jens Hoffmann’s selection in relation to the 12th Istanbul Biennale demonstrates the broad appeal of this exercise with a list that blends fiction with critical theory.

Bountiful Siberia: Linking in turn from a recent New York Times Travel article, Art Fag City reports on the emergence of Perm, a Siberian city with a population of less than a million people, as a cultural hotspot. In an effort to curtail an exodus of its young citizens, Perm contributes an unheard-of three percent of the city’s annual budget to the arts, and the results are astounding. City councils the world over who cringe from dedicating even one percent to their cultural sector should sit up and take note.

A “Yankee Hipster” in Denmark: Context counts in public art, a point that seems to have gone adrift when Shepherd Fairey installed a mural extolling peace on a contentious site in Copenhagen where a left-wing youth group’s club was demolished by city council in 2007; that Fairey received a 250,000 kroner subsidy from city council does little to diminish its propagandist undertones. While the beating Fairey sustained outside a Danish nightclub is unfortunate, the graffiti that appeared on the mural shortly after its completion seems a more than appropriate response to the under thought interventions of a self-identified street artist.

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